The Reel Review

B+

A widowed social worker investigating a child endangerment case in 1973 Los Angeles finds herself immersed in a living nightmare when she realizes it may not be the work of the crazy-eyed mother but rather, the Mexican child-drowning ghost La Llorona… who (uh oh!) is now after her own children.

Linda Cardellini (Green Book) stars in this latest spinoff from The Conjuring franchise, based on the iconic Mexican folktale, and eerily reminiscent of the 1982 horror classic Poltergeist. It has a healthy dose of fun jump scares, creepy settings and an ever-growing sense of dread. The Tangina in this old-fashioned thriller, however, is Rafael (Breaking Bad’s Raymond Cruz), a badass former Catholic priest turned shaman.

The first half of the film is surprisingly well crafted with some clever camerawork and plenty of scares set to a groovy 1970s setting. The second half, while a bit more corny and over the top in going for the big finish, is still a pretty thrilling, good time for horror fans.

REEL FACTS

• Parents throughout Latin America use the Mexican folk legend of La Llorona to make their children behave and keep them from staying out too late.

• Tony Amendola reprises his role of Father Perez in the film from 2014’s Annabelle.

• In one scene, the daughter is watching the classic Scooby-Doo cartoon. Linda Cardellini played Velma in the 2002 film Scooby-Doo.

 

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